The popularity of wheel mouses?

16 Mar 2006 - 1:14pm
8 years ago
2 replies
382 reads
Petteri Hiisilä
2004

Hi,

What's your best estimate on how many people take the advantage of
using the mouse wheel when scrolling? Maybe it depends on the target
group, but let's assume that the group is really big and general,
like Google visitors.

a) around 30 %
b) around 60 %
c) around 90 %

Are there any studies on this subject? Or even polls?

My own guess is B. But if it would be C, we could assume that
scrolling isn't as much of an annoyance as it used to be, and that
should have an effect on design decisions.

As a happy Mighty Mouse user even scrolling sideways in OmniGraffle
doesn't annoy much, as long as the part of the document that I'm
working on fits on the screen without scrolling back and forth.
Scrolling one way, let it be down or right, is just fast.

What do you think? How big a problem scrolling is nowadays?

Thanks,
Petteri

--
Petteri Hiisilä
Senior Interaction Designer
IX Design / +358505050123 / petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Comments

16 Mar 2006 - 11:33pm
cfmdesigns
2004

Petteri Hiisilä <petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi> writes:

>What's your best estimate on how many people take the advantage of
>using the mouse wheel when scrolling? Maybe it depends on the target
>group, but let's assume that the group is really big and general,
>like Google visitors.
>
>a) around 30 %
>b) around 60 %
>c) around 90 %
>
>Are there any studies on this subject? Or even polls?
>
>My own guess is B. But if it would be C, we could assume that
>scrolling isn't as much of an annoyance as it used to be, and that
>should have an effect on design decisions.

My guess? 10%, or lower. When you're talking
huge groups of people, you're talking huge groups
of low-end users. They are lucky to know which
end of the mouse is up, frankly. (Doubly so if
it's a Mac hockey-puck mouse!)

I watched a usability test today and just to make
it go faster, to get to the meat of the test,
they taught the guy about ctrl-click and
shift-click. I suspect there are vast numbers of
people out there who, if they even have a scroll
wheel mouse (which they may not on most Mac,
laptops, and older Win boxes, of which there are
still tons around), don't know how to use it, or
at least not very well. They use space bar, and
arrow keys, and clicking in the various parts of
the scrollbar -- often in the least efficient way
(probably dragging the scroll thumb).
--

----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
Jim Drew Seattle, WA cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 3/14)
(Subject: Movie Commentary: Troy)

19 Mar 2006 - 10:46pm
Oleh Kovalchuke
2006

> My guess? 10%, or lower.

I would second that guess. Especially considering the fuzzy nature of
wheel control: if one happens to have a drop down navigation list in
focus, the wheel will scroll and select from that list often sending
user on exploration of unknown depths of the web instead of simply
scrolling the page itself - rather discouraging behavior for reflexive
wheel users.
--
Oleh Kovalchuke

On 3/16/06, Jim Drew / CFM Designs <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Petteri Hiisilä <petteri.hiisila at ixdesign.fi> writes:
>
> >What's your best estimate on how many people take the advantage of
> >using the mouse wheel when scrolling? Maybe it depends on the target
> >group, but let's assume that the group is really big and general,
> >like Google visitors.
> >
> >a) around 30 %
> >b) around 60 %
> >c) around 90 %
> >
> >Are there any studies on this subject? Or even polls?
> >
> >My own guess is B. But if it would be C, we could assume that
> >scrolling isn't as much of an annoyance as it used to be, and that
> >should have an effect on design decisions.
>
> My guess? 10%, or lower. When you're talking
> huge groups of people, you're talking huge groups
> of low-end users. They are lucky to know which
> end of the mouse is up, frankly. (Doubly so if
> it's a Mac hockey-puck mouse!)
>
> I watched a usability test today and just to make
> it go faster, to get to the meat of the test,
> they taught the guy about ctrl-click and
> shift-click. I suspect there are vast numbers of
> people out there who, if they even have a scroll
> wheel mouse (which they may not on most Mac,
> laptops, and older Win boxes, of which there are
> still tons around), don't know how to use it, or
> at least not very well. They use space bar, and
> arrow keys, and clicking in the various parts of
> the scrollbar -- often in the least efficient way
> (probably dragging the scroll thumb).
> --
>
> ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
> Jim Drew Seattle, WA cfmdesigns at earthlink.net
> http://home.earthlink.net/~rubberize/Weblog/index.html (Update: 3/14)
> (Subject: Movie Commentary: Troy)
> ________________________________________________________________

Syndicate content Get the feed